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Health 123

Health 123 - Why is my hair falling out?

There are about ten thousand of hair follicles under our scalp that allows our hair to grow, some people have more hair follicles by nature and hence they have thicker hair, while some have lesser hair follicles and hence, thinner hair. Human’s hair will go through three phases: anagen phase (also known as the active growing period), catagen phase (also known as transitional period)and telogen phase (a period where the hair stops growing or is dying).

The average growth period of the hair is 3 years, and the hair shall grow in the rate of roughly 1cm per month during this phase. The catagen phase shall last about three weeks, and by then the hair will fall slowly and eventually. The last telogen phase will last for about 3 months, so that after enough rest and nutrition, the hair follicles will grow out some new hair. 

Generally, 90% of our hair is in the anagen phase while 10% of it is in its telogen phase. Our hair remains in different phases during the same period of time, and all these phases shall repeat the cycles by themselves. A person will have 100 hair drops daily under normal condition. Whenever one experiences more than 100 hair drops daily, it is considered as hair loss. There are two types of hair loss, one is baldness due to massive hair loss, and the other is baldness because of one’s eventual thinning of the hair. 

What causes massive hair loss which leads to baldness?
The main reason for massive hair loss is an over-stressful lifestyle. For example: pressure in giving birth and raising children, severe sicknesses like dengue fever, shifting house, work pressure, etc. 30-40% of the hair will enter telogen phase under intensified pressure. There will be massive hair loss after experiencing three months of intensified pressure. This kind of hair loss will last about 3-6 months, and sometimes it will cause partial baldness to surface. In addition to this, lack of nutrition, lack of sleep which causes endocrine disorder, period disorder, dieting (insufficiency of iron, zinc, vitamin D, biotin, etc., in human body due to minimum storage of microelements), regular dyeing and perming of hair, a rapid decline of estrogen level after giving birth among women, thyroid diseases, iron deficiency anemia, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE),chemotherapy, etc., will also cause one to lose hair.

What causes the hair to grow thinner?
The second type of hair loss: The most common reason for thinning hair is due to male baldness and female hair loss. Male baldness (or M-shaped baldness) is caused by hereditary high androgen. Too high of DHT will shorten the anagen phase and extend the telogen stage, which causes the hair follicles to shrink and the hair to get thinner. It will usually affect one side of your hair and slowly cause a M-shape hair loss, and finally resulting in a big bald patch on top of one’s head. The scalps on the sides and at the back are not affected by the DHT hormone, and hence it will not fall normally. Female hair loss has to do with gene and hormone, for example, PCOS which will cause the hair growing around the parting line to get thinner.

How to treat baldness?
It all depends on the reasons that caused the baldness. Hair loss in telogen phase could be treated by applying medical shampoo for a period of 3-6 months. Female and male pattern baldness can be treated by hair vitamins, for example, Minoxidil Spray and medical shampoo. Oral medicine like hormone pills can also help to alleviate the symptoms. However, please consult a professional doctor before you consume all these medicine in order not to make it worse instead!

We advise that you keep a balanced diet, and handle your stress appropriately, cultivate a good sleeping habit and lifestyle, and take good care of your hair. Never allow them to be lost forever!